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TONY CAVE: Fight is on for more coaches to prevent overcrowding on weekday service to Lincoln

Carlton

In April 2008 I received a telephone call ‘out of the blue’, the caller saying “Do you remember Pinxton in the snow?”, to which I replied “Yes”. “So you are the Tony Cave who went with me on the last day of passenger trains”. January 7, 1963 was the date, during the severe winter of that year. We got talking and I found out he had been a manager in the West of England, but his final job before retiring was with East Midlands Trains (EMT), to sort out the new services being introduced in December 2008. I complained about the decimation of services at both our stations, with Carlton planned to have only 12 trains a day. He said he would see what he could do, and a few weeks later ‘phoned back to say he had been able to re-instate two daytime trains at Carlton. He knew the area well, his father being Station Master at Ilkeston North, and the last Yard Master at Colwick. Apart from that our group did a lot of lobbying.

Overcrowding of the 17.21 Nottingham to Lincoln service was mentioned on BBC Radio Nottingham on February 20. Newark Business Club has been fighting for more coaches to be added to increase capacity. Their local MP has been involved in this and it seems the Department for Transport (DfT) are to have a meeting in Newark, but not much will happen until the new franchise commences this August, it appears.

Netherfield

Has this station been completely forgotten? – So ran a headline in the Nottingham Post newspaper of January 29. A local councillor feels that all the work being done to regenerate the area, has not included Netherfield station as a key player in helping to relieve traffic congestion, now major housing development is taking place locally, which can only mean local roads will become even more congested. When I talk to people at the station, many would use the trains if they were provided, to save the frustrating peak time drive to Radcliffe and Bingham, and also to visit friends etc.

East-Midlands-Trains

It takes so long to travel via Gunthorpe or Lady Bay bridges, and buses take even longer, whereas it is only four minutes by train to Radcliffe, and 11 to Bingham. Until the early 1990’s there was a well used hourly service, but then train services were drastically pruned on the line before Privatisation. At the time passenger numbers throughout much of Britain were declining, and it was expected this would continue. However numbers have instead doubled from 800 million journeys per year in British Rail days to 1.7 billion in 2017/18.

There is no reason that if Netherfield had a ‘proper’ train service, numbers using the trains would be substantial, as they have been at other places. We are told that Carlton station is nearby, but it isn’t Nottingham that many people want to travel to, but stations on the Skegness line including Grantham, where connections can be made to fast trains to London. Carlton and Netherfield stations are on different lines, but surely a half hourly service, alternating between Netherfield and Carlton is the minimum requirement for a large suburban area. Bingham is also expanding rapidly. You may remember I suggested a new station near Morrisons with park and ride provision, and it wasn’t ruled completely out of hand. In 201.7 Gedling Borough Council carried out a feasibility study which came out with the fact that more trains were required to call at Netherfield. The findings were passed to the DIVT,to consider for the next franchise, now due to be announced in August. IncidentallY Micro management of franchises by the DfT is to have a major shake up (Williams Review below). In the 2007 franchise the DfT stipulated a train should arrive in Nottingham from N’field by 08.45 ‘for school children’. Well, I have never seen a schoolchild board the 08.33 service!

What has our group achieved over the, years? In May 2007, as a result of lobbying, the 10.56 to Skegness and 20,24 to Nottingham (ex Skeghess) were added to the trains calling at Netherfield, to allow for day trips to Skegness. We lost the 10.56 in the timetable changes of December 2008. Then in May 2014 an additional stop was made by the 17.50 to Skegness to give workers from Bingham a return service after 17.00. It also still fills a gap in trains from Nottingham to Carlton. Railway companies are very restricted in what they can do, and risk averse. You can of course see their side, as everybody wants more trains, but I think our requests are based on sound judgment. We await details of the new franchise requirements with anticipation.

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The Williams Review could affect you

Keith Williams has been tasked with radically shaking up the way the railway is run. His review is due to be published in the Autumn. He says ‘passengers come first’ which is a good start. It appears that this report is likely to be acted upon. The Rail Delivery Group has submitted their proposals for a sweeping overhaul of rail ticketing to the Government commissioned Williams Review, called ‘Easier Fares for all’. It includes a more flexible season ticket and the anomaly of single tickets being almost the same price as returns, and to do away with split ticketing.

Mansfield to Pinxton Railway 200 years

The anniversary falls on 13th April 2019. Kirkby & District Archaeologi,cal Society and other groups are putting on a re-enactment of the opening ceremony, present line, built with deviations in 1849 when it became worked by locomotives, was also diverted in 1972 to do away with the level crossing in Kirkby. Pinxton had 2 stations with the North, on the original line, closing in 1947 and the South on a branch line from Nottingham Victoria, in 1963. You could get a direct train from Netherfield at 17.34, arriving Pinxton 18.30. Pinxton South station house was the same design as Gedling. Around 1960 when we lived in the station house at West Hallam, again same design, there was a vacancy for the station master at Pinxton. So, we went to look at the house, but when my mother found there was no electricity, well that put the kibosh on it! The station was in Notts., and Pinxton in Derbys., so any electricity cables would have to come over fields from Notts and it wasn’t going to happen. The local council, who are keen to open up the line to passenger trains from Mansfield to Toton via Pinxton, have (Feb 20) agreed to commission a report into whether such a train service to connect with the HS2 hub, would be feasible.

In Brief

Friends of Radcliffe station which commenced in Nov. 2017 with 30 members, has received an Association of Community Rail Partnerships award in recognition of the work they have done to, improve the station Nottingham station lifts being replaced and due to be completed by the end of April. Temporary stair lifts available

11.24 Saturdays Carlton to Leicester is nearly always full and standing and on April 27 Grimsby Town are due to play Notts. County, try and avoid this train

Rail travellers: hundreds of 2 for 1 offers at attractions around the UK are available from daysoutguide.co.uk

On Saturday, March 16th and Sun 17 Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Duffield will be holding a Diesel Railcar Gala

Nottingham Station fire 2018: A person has been charged with arson and causing ‘5? million damage, and is due to, appear at the Crown Court in March.

A new railcard to be introduced in September for 16 and 17 year olds, giving half price fares even at peak times.

Home circumstances mean my early morning visits to the stations will be reduced. However, I will, visit at other times of the day between Monday to Saturday.

There is engineering work affecting London St.Pancras services, especially 11th & 12th May and 28th May to 2nd June.

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